With the onslaught of the drought wreaking havoc on our water supply, we wanted to commend and even reward those who stopped using thousands of gallons of water each year by replacing their lawns with drought-tolerant gardens. The practice of growing nonnative grasses for our yards is going out of style and our winners this year prove that not only can we landscape with amazing native drought-tolerant species, but homeowners can go a step further and reduce their carbon footprint with edible gardens. Congratulations to our winners and we hope they prove to be an inspiration to residents across Ventura County.


• First place

Edible, drought tolerant, raising the bar
“Removing our front lawn has transformed our lives in many ways! In our new ‘healthy’ living space, we spend several hours of each day, tending to our drought tolerant garden, eating meals from the ‘fruits of our labor,’ visiting and sharing with new and old neighbor’s, observing the return of a natural eco-system of birds, bees and butterflies (and snakes!), while experiencing a renewed sense of well-being and balance. The benefits are countless; we are saving water and modeling a way of life for healthy and community-minded living!” — Denise Flores


First Place – BEFORE 



• Second place

Garden for wildlife
“During the last two months we have taken out all of our water sucking landscaping and put in a drought tolerant, native and environmentally friendly to wildlife landscape. We have put in a drip system with timer so that the plants get what they need and no more. We now have monarch caterpillars, hummingbirds and all sort of wildlife coming to our yard. The water feature is a pond less fountain that all the birds are attracted to. The dry creek bed was put in to capture the water runoff if we ever get rain.” — Mark and Michelle Nail, Ventura


Second Place – BEFORE


Second Place – AFTER


• Third place

Ever evolving, for the better
“We decided to get rid of the grass in our front yard a few years ago. We also wanted a bioswale to capture roof run off. Some native and drought resistant plants, of course. It was a lot of work, and it is still evolving, but we are very happy with the results. It is also an ocean-friendly garden and a certified wildlife habitat.” — Chris and Suzy Reinhart, Ventura


Third Place – BEFORE


Third Place – AFTER